Etymology Tuesday (late again)

I’m beginning to think that I ought to call this “Etymology Wednesday,” but I have a horrible suspicion that I’d end up posting on Thursdays if I did that. I wanted to get this up yesterday, but the internet was down in my little tidbit of “no and where.” (extra points if you get the reference!)

So, without farther ado, here are the words of the week, histories courtesy of the Online Etymology Dictionary.

Seizure: “act of seizing,” late 15c., from seize + -ure. Meaning “sudden attack of illness” is attested from 1779.

The character who has seizures gets them as a result of her two magical heritages working against each other when she isn’t careful about the magic she does.

Magic: late 14c., “art of influencing events and producing marvels using hidden natural forces,” from O.Fr. magique “magic, magical,” from L.L. magice “sorcery, magic,” from Gk. magike (presumably with tekhne “art”), fem. of magikos “magical,” from magos “one of the members of the learned and priestly class,” from O.Pers. magush, possibly from PIE *magh-(1) “to be able, to have power” (see machine). Transferred sense of “legerdemain, optical illusion, etc.” is from 1811. Displaced O.E. wiccecræft (see witch); also drycræft, from dry “magician,” from Ir. drui “priest, magician” (see druid).

This one is just cool.  I love the connection between power and “hidden natural forces” here. The magic in the world of the novel I’m currently working on is predicated on the idea of that unseen natural force, and on the consequences of causing a local depletion.

Portal: c.1300, from M.L. portale “city gate, porch,” from neut. of portalis (adj.) “of a gate,” from L. porta “gate” (see port (2)).

This is one of my favorite games.  Oh, and also, there are two very important portals in my novel. One leads to a shadowy archipelago full of unhappy shades. The other is a door into a pocket between dimension that’s full of the greater demons.

Those are the words of the week! Hope their histories were interesting were interesting. More next week (probably not on time).


~ by lamichaud on August 1, 2012.

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